Yorkshire turns yellow for Tour's Grand Depart

Fri Jul 4, 2014 4:42pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LEEDS England (Reuters) - "So Good It's Coming Twice" boasts the sign on the road into Addingham, a village just a few kilometers of pedaling from Leeds.

This year's Tour de France, which begins on Saturday morning before spending two days traversing the hills and valleys of the county of Yorkshire, will pass through Addingham, as the sign points out, not once, but twice.

Firstly on stage one from Leeds to York and then again on Sunday when the world's best cyclists head through 'Bronte Country' down to Sheffield - a 201km stretch that includes nine categorized climbs, one of which has been rebranded 'Cote de Blubberhouses'.

Say that in a French accent and you are guaranteed a few quizzical looks from the locals.

Such is the outbreak of cycle fever accompanying the Tour's arrival that it is impossible to drive more than a kilometer without passing a homage to Le Velo.

Along the A65 road towards the market town of Skipton on the eve of the Grand Depart, the excitement was palpable.

Primary schools are covered in bunting, bikes sprayed yellow sprout from trees, balconies and roundabouts and even the one local cafe was advertising Le Chip Butty - a popular local dish involving French fries stuffed in a bun.

A local physiotherapist clinic has a skeleton outside seated on a yellow bike, wearing a racing jersey.   Continued...

A yellow bicycle is pictured on the route of the Tour de France in the village of Barkisland, northern England June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Phil Noble